cover image Uncage Me

Uncage Me

Jen Jordan, Editor, John Connolly, Foreword by . Bleak House $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-60648-016-8

While John Connolly (The Reapers ) rightly notes in his introduction that this all-original anthology isn't for the fainthearted, noir lovers will find plenty to savor among the 22 stories from both familiar and unfamiliar names. Steven Torres offers the most moving selection, “The Biography of Stoop, the Thief,” in which a 14-year-old boy tries to save the mother who abandoned him for a life on the streets as a substance abuser. Tim Maleeny's “Prisoner of Love” not only features twists and betrayals but manages to make an ambiguous resolution satisfying rather than frustrating. There are some duds, like Maxim Jakubowski's shocker “We Mate in the Dark,” with its pointless savagery, but on the whole the contributors demonstrate the ability to create believable and memorable characters as well as settings in a few pages. (July)